Braves 4 (8-5), Phillies 3 (8-5)
WP: Wagner (1-0)
LP: Contreras (0-1)
This was the game the Braves were supposed to win. But...this wasn't the way they were supposed to win. It was the team's young stud, Tommy Hanson, against perennial Phillies phailure Kyle Kendrick. Naturally, Hanson was gone after 4 2/3 after Philly wore him out by making him throw a ton of pitches. Kendrick also somehow completely shut the Braves down for 8 innings, allowing only 6 baserunners. Hanson wasn't actively bad, walking only 1 while striking out 4 Phillies batters and allowing a pair of runs. After he exited, the Braves bullpen took over, and had a solid game, allowing 3 hits and 1 run, while walking a batter and striking out 4 in their 5 1/3 innings of work. The Braves could be in trouble tomorrow if Tim Hudson doesn't last long in his duel with Roy Halladay, as 5 members of the Braves pen got work tonight: Eric O'Flaherty, Peter Moylan, Kris Medlen, Jesse Chavez, and closer Billy Wagner. That leaves Jonny Venters and Takashi Saito unused, and Venters can at least eat some innings.
Now, lets take a look at things from an offensive standpoint. The Braves could just not get anything going against Kyle Kendrick, and it was quite embarrassing to be honest with you. Martin Prado had 2 early hits, but couldn't do anything when on the bases. Chipper Jones and Brian McCann each reached near the top of the lineup with a hit and a walk each, and aside from a Nate McLouth walk, no other Brave managed to get on the basepaths until the ninth inning chaos. With Chipper Jones on first after a walk, Troy Glaus stepped in and hit a moonshot of a 2 run homer to make it a one run game. The immortal Jason Heyward stepped in next, took a strike, and then blasted a game tying dinger to right to even the score. Yunel Escobar then did what he does to end the inning...beat the first pitch he sees into the ground and get thrown out. Billy Wagner dominated the Phillies in the 10th, and Nate McLouth ended his slump with an exclamation mark, depositing a Jose Contreras pitch just over the right field wall to give the Braves a come from behind 4-3 win where they were left for dead with 2 outs in the 9th inning. Its a game like this that you need to win when you get the chance, and the Braves definitely got the chance tonight.
Tomorrow will be another story, with Roy Halladay coming to town to duel with Tim Hudson. Should be a good one.